At the ancient Olympic Games (776 BC), there were no medals. There was only one winner at each event and that winner was awarded an olive wreath that sat on his head like a crown, called “kotinos.” Each wreath was made out of an olive branch from a sacred olive tree called “Kallistefanos Elea” near Zeus’ temple in Olympia. In Greece, the olive tree has represented peace, honor, and virtue for thousands of years.
At the first Olympic Games of the modern era in Athens in 1896, the winner was crowned with an olive wreath and received a silver medal. It wasn’t until the 1904 Olympics in St Louis that the Olympic Games first awarded gold, silver, and bronze medals for first, second, and third place.
Let’s create a crown like the ones the first Olympians would’ve worn!
After you make your Olympic olive wreath crown, make sure to do the following Family Devotional with it!
- Paper plates
- Green construction paper
- Using the green construction paper, cut a dozen (per crown) 2” long “leaves.”
- Trim the paper plate into a “C” shape (it will fit over your ears with the open part of the “C” facing up)
- Glue the “leaves” onto one side of the paper plate.
Family Crown Devotional
We know that these olive wreath crowns are just paper, and just fun. Compared to the crown that we will receive in heaven one day, this one pales in comparison. Use this paper crown to speak words of affirmation over each other. Let your children create a crowning ceremony and, as you place the crown on each other’s head, speak words of blessing over them: say something you are thankful for in each person, speak a personal verse over them, commission them and their work to God, share an attribute that you see in each person. If you’d like, you could also write those blessings on the underside of each person’s olive wreath crown. Now it is truly an eternal crown!
Use the hashtag #olympicfamilydevotions when you share your pictures on social media!